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"I'm going on 50 dates and I'm taking you with me"

Flirt-a-go-go: A Journal of My Adventures

ImageDecember 27, 2006
Weird Christmas, but are you surprised? I'm told I work in retail -- I write in retail -- so this time of year is our busiest. The people who told me that were not kidding. I am still crazed and it's almost New Year's.

Apparently my next project is to write a guide to vibrators that is based on one's personality/level of experience.

Is it 2007 yet?

December 3, 2006
I promised myself that if I ever got a job I would be one of those people who stops by nice restaurants or bars in hotels on their way home from work rather than cook. So far I have made good on that promise, although I am laserbeam-focused on paying off the debt I incurred from roughly five years of not working.

I also buy things for myself: Felicity Season I (The Freshman Year of course), Crooked Fingers CD that has "Call to Love" on it (had that on my shopping list for years) and lately, books.

I have not been a big reader in far too long. It is ironic since I'm a writer, but now that I'm back, I'm back with a vengeance. I love Darkly Dreaming Dexter. I first heard about it because one of my editor's other authors, Jeff Povey, got a review saying that he was an imitator of Dexter's Jeff Lindsay, who writes about a serial killer who only kills other serial killers. Anyway, so loved it. Poetic, fast-paced and it held my ever-withering attention throughout.

Finished the first book at four this morning, much later went to the Seattle library to start writing my next book, looked for the next Dexter book, which was checked out (as was Dating Amy), stared at a blank screen for hours and then came home.

I did not stop at a restaurant or hotel bar on the way.

November 27, 2006
Happy post-Thanksgiving all. I had a nice weekend. I believe it's the most time I've had off since I started my job six weeks ago. I ate Thanksgiving dinner much more than once. I did not use a thermometer and since the meat at the bone of the bird was very pink and slightly rubbery I had to throw some out.

Highlights of the four-day vacation include the following:

I found the first season of Melrose Place for $32 (used) and wallowing in the cheesy grippingness of it -- I only watched about 12 hours worth though, so don't judge.

I ran into my ex boyfriend and had a fun, civil conversation with him, which doesn't always happen. Either I'm in the mood or he's in the mood, but rarely are we both in the mood at the same time. Just like I hear sex after marriage is.

Snow! It came falling down last night. I wasn't that into it. Last year when the first snow fell the aforementioned boyfriend left a message on my cell that he wanted me to look outside because he didn't want me to miss the first snow. I was already out in it, but I saved that message for a long time.

This year no on ehad to call me and the first snow just seems cold and wet and inconvenient.

November 17, 2006
Daily Candy is coming to Seattle in early December and they've asked me to write for them. I'm absolutely thrilled. They're a fantastic site and I couldn't be more flattered.

I am not, however, leaving my day job even though this happened on our street today...

November 10, 2006
I have friends who write about things other than dating, too. From the Huffington Post, "Dear Lord..."

November 9, 2006
Anyway, so this whole long page got wiped out on Sunday and ipowerweb promised they would restore it within 24 hours (for $50!) and they never did, so I'm recoding it myself.

November 1, 2006
Sydney Siren Sam Interviews Serial Chick About Leaving Dates Quick.

Her foolproof method if things went sour? "I will at least finish dinner with someone so it's a natural end point in the date. I'm assuming the guy is run-of-the-mill dull, not setting his hair on fire or shrieking offensive things at the waitress or anything. I like a grain of truth to my excuses, so since I honestly go to bed ridiculously early, 'A girl needs her beauty rest', works wonders for me even if the sun's still out."

November 9, 2006
Anyway, so this whole long page got wiped out on Sunday and ipowerweb promised they would restore it within 24 hours (for $50!) and they never did, so I'm recoding it myself.

October 28, 2006
I'm hesitant to update because I almost never update and when you never update the pressure is on to have something of import to say when you do finally get around to writing. But as many of you know, my usual philosophy is "ah, fuck it," so here are some random thoughts:

I'm pleased that when I go into book stores here and abroad, and by 'abroad' I mean Los Angeles, that my book is either:

1. Completely sold out
2. On the New Non-Fiction table even though it's been out since June
3. Delightfully on those plastic shelf things they have at the end of the bookshelf where only one or two books is featured
4. At least facing forward in the Self Help aisle

I have a commute, but I don't hate it. I live in Seattle proper, but I work in Bellevue which is primarily a business district that is at least an hour away if you bus it as I do. The other night it took me a long time to get home because the Stones were in town. Fair enough. I suspect that Keith remains upright due to a combination of sheer will and pharmaceuticals and I'm sure many want to bear witness to his stamina. The next night it took me two hours to get home and there wasn't even a band that had been together for 40 years to use as an excuse. Two hours. My commute is 10 miles. I'm certain I have jogged that distance on the treadmill at the gym in less time.

I keep myself entertained on the bus by listening to my tired CDs on my archaic Discman, writing in my journal (which makes me nauseous -- I guess if you can't read on a bus you can't write on one either. Surprisingly I have no trouble with seasickness when I'm on an actual boat provided it has a sound system and more than one bedroom) and praying that I'll sit next to someone thin. Lately I've gravitated to sitting with a young guy who looks like Morrissey. He gets off at 4th and Columbia and then for the next few blocks the bus is my oyster.

Ah, employment.

October 25, 2006

Book Soup Los Angeles, October 2006

October 20, 2006

Book Soup Los Angeles, October 2006

October 10, 2006
I'm back from my East Coast (Baltimore)- West Coast (Los Angeles) blitz. Baltimore was chicks, chicks, chicks and L.A. was all men all the time. I'll try to get some details up. Great trips, both. Also, don't faint but I started a job today. A writing job. Been five years almost to the day since I had a regular writing job. I plan to celebrate by getting a plant for my cubicle and paying the rent on time.

October 1, 2006
Here's a crap picture of the Ladies Night panel I was on in Baltimore. We drew a bigger crowd than John Waters who was on after us.

Brett Paesel, Mommies Who Drink; Kristina Grish, Addickted; Cooper Lawrence, Been There Done That Kept the Jewelry; Me, Dating Amy; Adena Halpern, Target Underwear and a Vera Wang Gown; Kate White, editor Cosmopolitan, author How to Set His Thighs on Fire.

September 26, 2006
I keep meaning to write here, but work and my social life get in the way. Had a great weekend, found a new (super-cheap-yet-classy) happy hour place, danced, sang, had brunch with friends from L.A. who were in town. I hadn't seen them for five years, which is how long I've been in Seattle. It's my anniversary.

September 21, 2006
The Help Me Save My Amazon Rank plan is (surprisingly) going well. I'm in the five-figure numbers at least, but we still have a ways to catch up to today's #100 The Devil in the White City, which fortuitously is mentioned in Date #35: Hiking in Heels.

My true confession re that date was that: Deep down I want a man to drop me off at the restaurant if he has to park half a mile away or it's raining or I'm in heels. I know it's not fair, but then neither is the income gap or the fact that he's wearing loafers.

September 20, 2006
Conversations with Famous Writers picked Dating Amy as the book they would like to see made into a television show.

September 19, 2006 (evening)
There's close to nothing I hate more than some scrappy Internet writer who charms you with stories of their personal life then gets a book deal then writes about the book exclusively. It's the corporatization of the original relationship, plus it's boring as hell.

I acknowledge that I'm totally that scrappy Internet writer. The good news is that at least I did not get some huge advance + multi-book deal + movie tie-in, so I'm still struggling. I'm still one of you, but with less money and more social opportunities.

I wanted to clue you in to my life by writing about my weekend, so instead of churning out something original, I'm cutting and pasting an email I sent to a friend yesterday.

On Friday night I did a reading that was like the cliche of an unknown performer singing at a club where the cook is drowning her out by ringing the bell and yelling "roast beef, 86 the horseradish!"

There were five people there, one of whom I knew from another reading. They set me up in the LOBBY of the store with no mic or podium and I was next to the customer service desk. People were loudly talking on their cell phones while I was trying to read about my life. I was talking about penises while children ran by. The one guy I knew and I took the bus home from the reading like the two guys at the end of Midnight Cowboy. We then went for a drink at a classic dive near my house. I asked the bartender what kinds of wine they have and he said red, white and pink. It was really fun.

The next night I went to a party that another guy from another one of my readings had and it was great. He had a limerick written on his crotch, but I couldn't bring myself to read it. There was a DJ in the livingroom and I met a ton of nice people. Some of the people there had read my book. One girl had been at the event the night before and didn't even sit in the audience. She said it was because she got involved reading an article about Justin Timberlake, but I know it was because people were walking by saying things like, "Did that speaker just say 'clitoris?'"


September 19, 2006
#213,027. Help a sister out, will ya?

September 18, 2006 Sales Rank: #47,502 in Books. Things are getting more respectable here, more respectable indeed.

I wasn't able to annoy people with an email yesterday but I just sent one out this morning. Today's goal is to get me into the four-figure range. I will take spot 9,999, even. Today's #100 book is called Lisey's Story by Stephen King. It's not released yet.

September 17, 2006 Sales Rank: #606,297 in Books. It's going in the wrong direction! I'm sending out an email later today and we'll get this sucker up. Look out #100 PostSecret: Extraordinary Confessions from Ordinary Lives (Hardcover). I just realized the author of this wrote to me the other day. That's got to mean something, right?

September 16, 2006
Gah! Sales Rank: #588,971

My latest eBay auction: Help Save My Amazon Rank! Current rank: #585,921

Every year thousands of authors are afflicted with Low Amazon Rank.

Since my dating memoir-slash-self-help book Dating Amy: 50 True Confessions of a Serial Dater is currently ranked #585,921, I think we can all agree that I am sick.

Here's how you can make a difference: Go to my Amazon page then buy my book, which the Seattle P-I calls "... a winning mix of [Sex and the City's] Carrie Bradshaw and David Sedaris." It's $10.36. For the cost of a latte and a muffin and another muffin you can change the rank of an author who has never even had the opportunity to appear on Good Morning America.

September 11, 2006
A reporter for a national paper contacted me this morning for my take on whether or not all this Internet activity -- blogging, online dating, myspace -- helps or hurts Mr./Ms. Unassuming Dater. How about your views?

September 10, 2006
Armchair Interviews gave me a great review and the best synopsis of my book I've seen so far:

"Each date opens with a true confession--a truth about what happened or what Amy really wished/wanted. Several chapters end with myths that are bunked or debunked. Some myths that are covered: love only happens when you are not looking for it; online dating is perfect because it helps you find your perfect match; and things about unmarried men who are over 35 years old.

Amy reflects on various dating experiences: blind dates; the agony of waiting for his phone call; dating someone who is great on paper but with whom you don't have a lot of chemistry with; and being dumped after the first date.

Amy is very likeable and you really want her to find Mr. Right. She is a great writer and I loved her honesty and wit. Some dates made me cringe (like the comedian in dates 25 and 26) [He's the one who came to a recent book signing and ran after the reporter to clear his pseudo-name] while others had me laughing out loud (dates 3 and 30) ["There's a Penis Loose in the Cornfield," wherein I got accosted by a rock star's son in a pumpkin patch and "I Love Lucia," my lesbian date].

I would recommend this book to both men and women. Dating and relationships can be tricky and this book provides hope and unofficial rules. I found myself nodding in agreement with Amy's observations. I also think this book would be great for book clubs since it raises many different issues.

Armchair Interviews says Seattle's version of Carrie Bradshaw, Dating Amy is a fantastic and fun read!

Armchair Interviews

September 6, 2006 So I've started dating again. Guys just started asking me out and I just started saying 'okay' and that was it. It's a good thing too, because it was getting embarrassing to say "I just broke up with someone a month or two ago" and have people remind me that was August, not March.

Many of you will be thrilled to hear that I am changing my long-held policy of NOT dating through the site. (A policy instituted after Date #32, which is being illustrated in my cartoon, by the way.)

You are now free to email me and maybe I will date you.

There is one big caveat: You have to either have met me in person or you have to know someone I know. Also, a word to the wise(asses), if the main thing that draws you to me is my sarcastic, mean writing, you'll be sorely disappointed. In real life I'm terribly sentimental and sensitive and will likely make you sick.

On to my latest interview...

"Believe it or not my 'number' is still in the single digits and I'm a self-obsessed complainer, so I'm not much of a Good Time Girl in any sense of the phrase."

Conversations with Famous Writers.

September 5, 2006
When you do a reading at a bookstore, there is usually some unlucky ming assigned to take care of you. It's generally not the same person who asked you to be there in the first place, but is rather one of their minions aka the short-straw selector.

I find readings a bit nerve wracking, not because I'm worried I'll choke (I always have something to say), but because they're like throwing a party without asking for RSVPs. You have absolutely no idea who or how many or if any will show.

I had a spirited email exchange with a bookstore maven in L.A. and she wrote a paragraph cautioning me that the only people who would show up for a reading would be my family and friends. I wish. My readings are filled with fans, men who want to date me, advice seekers and perverts. Strangers, all. At least a respectable thirty-five to fifty-five bodies show up, which is a relief, because one of the first things the hapless clerk assigned to you does is rattle off how unsuccessful past readings have been.

Horror stories of being on the Today Show or worse, being renowned for something else huge -- founder of a legendary rock band from the '60s and wrote a book about it, had sex with a president and wrote a book about it (kidding, those always sell) -- yet drawing a crowd of three abound. I wonder how those people get booked again, by the way. Book stores remind me of clubs in L.A., they think if your talent doesn't translate into sales of pink martinis or paperbacks, you ain't got much. Anyway, that's not been my problem so far.

The anticlimax begins long before the reading. When I walk in there are usually huge posters advertising other books and big signs touting upcoming readings. I am generally nowhere to be found. Okay once I was hanging over the snack bar at a U District Barnes and Nobles but it was because I had climbed on the counter to get a better look at the dessert case.

I found the hapless soul assigned to me. A young woman with short blonde hair and low-rise jeans. "Do you have any posters of me?"

"No, only Random House sends those for their authors."


"We'll announce you five minutes before you go on."

That always feels feeble to me since anyone actually coming to see me will seek me out and the announcement will only alert people already in the store either killing time or buying other things. The girl and I made idle chit chat, and then...

"I've been on the other side," she said.

"You had a near-death experience?" I whispered.

"No, a guy I dated wrote about me on the Internet."

She told me about a charming, caddish twenty-something blogger whose tell-all exploits got him scooted to the front of the line at Manhattan hotspots. Like me he was not always forthcoming with the people who provided his literary afterglow.

"He came to pick me up at my apartment and my roommate took me aside and said 'What are you doing? Don't you know who that is?'" she said. "He was nice about me though, thank God. Of course I never had sex with him, so that may be why."

When a woman writes a blabby dating memoir it is cute and commercial, when a man does, he is held in a bit of contempt. It's an interesting double-standard.

"Did he get a book deal?" I asked.

"No, nothing came of it," she said. "Now he just works in publishing."

September 4, 2006 squeezes a little more truth out of me in this article Confessions of a Serial Dater.

August 28, 2006
So Edward Champion is sort of a mucky-muck among lit-bloggers because he is the alter ego of the Bat Segundo, a literary podcaster. That may be the nerdiest sentence I've ever uttered. Anyway, he makes fun of me here: Watch Out! They’re All Out To Get Amy DeZellar!

In my own defense, I didn't mean to imply that crappy writing is just the domain of some of the blog-to-bookers, because I'm sure some regular authors really suck, too. I don't know why everyone's acting like it's a big secret that the arts are not a meritocracy. Next up, my startling essay "Sometimes it Almost Seems Like Soap Opera Actors are Hired for Their Looks."

August 25, 2006
Seattlest, the Seattle version of Gothamist, reviewed a Dating Amy reading this week complete with a rendering of me. To be honest, it was the worst public appearance I've ever had. The article is naturally very funny.

When one of the "dates" runs after the reporter to tell his side of the story, he's referring to this excerpt from the chapter Date #25: Didja Hear the One About the Movie Star and the Midget?:

He wanted to kiss me in the car. I swear I'm not uptight, though I am often called so.

"I like to get to know someone for about six months before I get physical," I said. "What do you think?"

"I think that women over-think these things. I saw a movie once where a woman fell for a guy who said, 'Open your mind and your legs will follow.'"

"I saw a movie once where a guy was handsome and charming and didn't say weird things. I think it starred Kevin Bacon."

"When did you first realize that you hate men?" he said.

August 22, 2006
I was interviewed about blogs becoming books in this Spokane Spokesman article yesterday.

"The bloggers who are giving the rest of us a bad name are those who weren't really writers in the first place and just sort of became writers by virtue of getting published," [DeZellar] said. "A popular blog can get you a book, but not necessarily the talent to write one."

Is that a scratching post I see? Never mind, I'll just use the couch.

August 21, 2006
From my email pile:

I just bought your book purely as a "candy" book (unrelated to the famous book of that name) [I think he means CandyGirl by Diablo Cody]. I read a lot of technical material and waste saturday at the bookstore studying. I tend to pick up a book that is a light read (aka "candy").

Having visited your website, seen your claim to being a professional writer and seen your request for cash I think it's only reasonable to "pay for performance". So I'll send you a dollar for every date description I find realistic, well written, and entertaining.

I'll let you know...


He sent me an email update, one per hour, then this:

Bought it at 4pm, finished it at 2am. Excellent writing, easy reading.

And PayPal sent me this:

Dear Amy DeZellar,
This email confirms that you have received a payment for $50.00 USD from T.

August 16, 2006
Seattle Weekly did a Q&A with me.

Those of you who are writing to me to rhapsodize about how you loved my book: Would you mind hauling your Mint Milanos over to my Amazon page and saying so there? I'd be grateful, ever so.

July 23, 2006
I occasionally get asked to be on talk shows and since the book is out, those offers seem to be coming up again. I thought I would see how other women handle themselves on television and I came across this clip of Amy Sedaris on the Colbert Report promoting her new movie Strangers With Candy.

July 19, 2006
I got a nice review in the Omaha World-Herald (first time my dates and I have been called adult). If that link doesn't work, here's what they said: blah blah crap about some other writers Another fun book is "Dating Amy: 50 True Confessions of a Serial Dater" (5 Spot, $12.95 in paperback) by Amy DeZellar, the creator of the site.

In this hilarious memoir, DeZellar deconstructs 50 dates with honesty and wit, lampooning or praising her suitors. She's kind enough to give them aliases - Glitter Ball, Harry Potter and Teflon are three of the more colorful examples - as she works her way through them, hoping to find Mr. Right.

The book is a breezy, easy read. DeZellar is a straight-ahead writer with verve, and though there is genuine emotion (and adult situations), "Dating Amy" is the type of light, sweet concoction that's perfect for summertime.

July 16, 2006
Yow, I really fell off track with my How to Meet a Man project. I think I lost interest on Day #6 when I was supposed to sign up for the weightlifting class at my gym because we don't have them and that was all it took to completely discourage me from the whole damn experiment.

I met my cartoonist for the first time on Thursday night and she is as otherworldly and clever as her drawings.

I did a photo shoot yesterday afternoon so I'll finally have the headshots that people have been bugging me to have since I started the site.

July 14, 2006
Sent by one of my readers with the subject line "Wayyy Too Desperate": 911 call for 'cute' deputy gets woman arrested. Thanks, L!

July 10, 2006
I'm a Beach Pick at Daily Stroll. They make an eggggsalad point that the short chapters make mine the perfect read for mommies as well as poolside dwellers and commuters.

July 9, 2006
The responses to my Day #1 email are just rolling in! A male friend writes:

I will be out of the office on July 7th and unavailable between the hours if 8am and 6pm Pacific. I will respond to your message on Monday, or after 6pm if urgent.

I wrote back to him that it was.

Another exciting reply from a girl friend states:

well, the article obviously makes the basic assumption that all of your friends have decent social/sex lives with available single men hanging about the fringes. I'm not sure whether that makes it hilarious or incredibly sad that you emailed me.

If, by chance, I meet a 'great single guy', I will keep you in mind as I'm ripping his clothes off to have my sick, wicked way with him.

Things are really clipping along.

July 8, 2006
Here is a sentence I never thought I'd utter: Come visit me at my myspace page.

I've already fallen off track with my Meet a Man in 30 Days project. Quelle surprise.

Day #4: Men tend to be intimidated by packs of chicks, so hit up a bar with just two friends. If you see a guy you like, pull away slightly from your pals and scan the room. When your eyes fall on your target, shoot him "the look." It'll give him a free-and-clear pickup opportunity.

Day #5: You've mastered the seductive body lingo; now cast a wider net and make eyes at EVERY cute guy you see.

So I'm not doing the two girlfriends thing tonight since I only found out about it two minutes ago and I was supposed to do it yesterday and I don't have a time machine, which, if I did have one I would use to re-do that night I met Rob and Chad Lowe at a bar.

July 6, 2006
Day #3
Oh yeah!
Perfect your come-hither look. Tilt your head slightly down and to the side, then look up from under your lashes and smile. This pose shows guys it's okay to approach.

Well it will certainly show them something.

July 5, 2006
Day #2: Adopt a mantra like "nothing to lose." Not only will an easygoing vibe make you more of a man magnet, but should you get discouraged along the way, this mind-set will help you keep the dating game in perspective.

Nothing to lose... clearly that ship sailed several years ago for me.

July 4, 2006
Not just the birthday of this great country, it's Day 1 of my How to Meet a Guy in 30 Days project.

Get the ball rolling by sending out feelers to all of your friends. E-mail them and say, "Hey, I just wanted to touch base because I'm looking to meet some men [note the absence of any specific criteria]. If you know of any great single guys, keep me in mind." [ah, they have to be both 'great' and 'single.' My pool just shrunk.]

I'll get right on this as will my friends I'm sure.

July 2, 2006
I noticed a life-changing article advertised on the cover of one of the more socially significant publications around.

Cosmopolitan's "How to Meet a Guy in 30 Days" cannot be dismissed. Apparently 23 days in I am to crash into an eligible man's grocery cart in an effort to create something romantic and memorable.

I can only hope we're in the produce aisle and not on the sidewalk grate near the bus stop where he lives.

June 28, 2006
I'm starting a new dating project here on the Fourth of July that is so funny I've been laughing out loud about it all afternoon. I will be updating daily for a month. You will definitely want to stay tuned.

June 19, 2006
Have you ever attended a book signing before? I never had until my own. It was standing room only. Sitting on the floor room only, really. There was a tray of warm cookies. Thanks to all who attended especially the woman whose date had his partials fall out while he groped her ass, the college guy who wondered if he'd have better luck dating older women like Eva Longoria and the senior gentleman who was contemplating buying a convertible to attract chicks.

June 15, 2006
Friggin' rave from the Seattle P-I.

"...with a voice that's a winning mix of Carrie Bradshaw and David Sedaris, readers can be sure that DeZellar has penned a riotous paean to the virtues of being picky when it comes to men."

June 14, 2006
Gah! Not only is it Flag Day but it is the day my book is released. My publicist informs me that the official release is really not until Friday, but the book's in stores so I don't know what. In other news, I am appalled to see that I accidentally wore red, white and blue today as I certainly prefer to keep my patriotic tendencies more private than my romantic ones.

I have been asked to participate in a panel at the Baltimore Books Festival with the authors of Mommies Who Drink and Been There, Done That, Kept the Jewelry. As you've already guessed, we'll be discussing federal tax implications of the Tax Reform Act of 1986. I'm excited. I've never been to Baltimore, but here's what I know about it: 1. It is where John Waters is from and 2. It is in Maryland.

June 12, 2006
Very nice review from a Canadian Web magazine

Amy does make sure to address both sides of dating from time to time, however, because despite what seems like endless differences, men and women do actually share some things in common. "I think we're all doomed—men and women—when we really like someone," Amy replied when I asked about the male versus female approach to dating. "The solution seems to be getting involved with someone you're only 'meh' about, then there's hope. The person who's more into the relationship is always at a disadvantage, though. Unless both people are emotionally mature, but how often does that happen?"

May 24, 2006
My publisher asked me to contribute an essay about the experience of writing my book.

May 17, 2006
The flurry of activity at the temp job I've been at since Valentine's Day has ended. My contract follows suit on Friday. The slowdown at work combined with the murky heat that's rolled into Seattle has turned my corporate business life into a late afternoon on summer porch in Georgia.

I'm half sitting, half lying on the couch in the lounge watching Mad Money on CNN.

"I'm starting to warm to him," I say.

"Oh God, I can't listen to this. You hate it too," says Lana, our office manager as she collapses into an overstuffed chair.

"Now I see that there's a gestalt to it. He's got some really good gimmicks. Look at the plastic bulls roasting in the toaster oven to represent the market trends," I say. "Oh you can change the channel."

Lana has the remote but doesn't touch it. We watch The Da Vinci Code get panned by someone else who's trying halfheartedly to be a shock-jock type. He's criticizing how French the Cannes Film Festival is.

"Da Vinci Code has got a zero percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes," I say. "Did you read the book?"


"We're the only two people in the country who didn't," I say. She's unrolling a Tootsie Roll.

"This candy is too accessible," I say. She nods.

"Can you hand me a Hershey's dark?"

May 15, 2006
Dear [media person],

Thank you for your request for my [500-word biographical anecdote/1000-word biographical anecdote/checking account information].

I'm so pleased with all the attention my as-yet-unpublished book is getting and once it's out I'm sure you'll agree that Dating Amy will [change memoir writing as we know it/be half-off by July 4th/make James Frey look moral]. I simply cannot wait to [speak with you/open a bottle of red and watch Desperate Housewives/open a bottle of red and write another 500-word biographical anecdote].

As far as the interview specifics, I would love to appear on your show in person, unfortunately I am [reading to the blind that day as a way to men who volunteer/afraid to fly Ukrainian Airways/not going to] so the phone will have to do.

When I first started my Web site, I never dreamed that [it would make me a published writer/I would have to write so many biographical anecdotes/there were so many idiots with computer access] but it's people like you that have made that a reality for me.

My Very Best,

April 30, 2006
I was browsing around Amazon checking out my future competition. Several very interesting sort-of dating memoirs are coming out around the same time as mine, so I'm in delicious company.

Then I came across what is perhaps the most depressing title I've ever seen that doesn't deal with child abuse or the holocaust: Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving.

Is that not just the literary equivalent of stockpiling AAs, Chunky Monkey and Sopranos DVDs for the next, I dunno, 52 Saturday nights? Any woman, anywhere can get loving for two -- or more -- of the non-self sort by picking up the phone or turning up at the corner alehouse. If we could just get past wanting companionship, tenderness and support to go with it, we'd really have something.

A search for self-help books on relationships presumably geared toward women turned up 23589 results.

Surprisingly, a search for how-to books on masturbation for men yielded zero.

I guess the gentlemen have got that topic well in hand. (Sorry.)

April 22, 2006
I adore summer: Gazing at bronzed surfers, their biceps accentuated by the boards tucked under their arms, that taste of saltwater taffy when you lick your lips near the ocean, the smell of coconut oil and mint mojitos and smoking charcoal...

Wait, I live in Seattle.

It almost reached 57 degrees today and there was no rain.

In celebration of the hoped-for weather I shined up my silver toe ring and wore it with my purple flip-flops. Although the straps of these sandals look deceptively cuddly, like violet jelly beans, they are in reality torture devices. After a stop at Bartell's for Band-Aids for the tops of my feet I decided to try to replace the pair of incredibly comfortable platform flip-flops I bought years ago. I had worn them until they broke sometime during the freakishly warm weather in January.

I went downtown and found a pair of three-inch platforms in brown that felt good. Then I saw that there was miraculously one pair left in black. I purchased them.

I am wearing them as I type this. They fit my feet as if they were molded to me. I am five foot ten in them.

Last night after seeing Brokeback Mountain for the first time I dreamed that I couldn't find my strappy black dress to wear to a party that Jake Gyllenhaal was attending.

Tonight I plan to dream about black foam shoes that make me tall enough to kiss him without even having to tilt my head up too much.

April 19, 2006
Today, in short:

Gym to lift weights at 5:30 a.m., breakfast of oatmeal with apricot spreadable fruit on it instead of brown sugar, feel saintly on way to work, get double tall latte at Starbucks (have upgraded from single tall in past week), make joke about coworker being "office nerd" then feel bad because although she is beautiful now, what if she was a nerd when she was younger and it ripped open some sort of childhood wound?, read an astrological analysis of the Brad Pitt-Angelina Jolie-Jennifer Aniston triangle on the Internet and consider that perhaps Angelina really does deserve all the benefits she has in this life as has earned it in a past life and that maybe Jen was passive-aggressive due to a Moon-Saturn conjunction as the astrologer said, leave work early for interview with recruiter who likes my hair in my driver's license photo when it was more curly and gives me the name of a hair care product to help make it straight as well as assuring me she can place me easily but not with any sort of editorial work, on the way home realize that it is suddenly weather for sitting on restaurant patios either with a very attractive man or with a great girl friend lamenting the fact that there are no attractive men around, wonder where the magical enthusiasm I had a few years ago (for Seattle specifically and life in general) went, check my email and see that I've received a form email telling me I did not get a job I interviewed for as a copywriter that paid sixty-nine percent of what I was making as a writer in L.A., wonder why I'm a good enough writer to get a book deal but not to get a job that is now desperately being advertised on craigslist, concurrently wonder why anyone I've slept with would place an ad on rather than just commit to me.

April 6, 2006
Here's an interview I did about the book with a cool magazine called L.A. Splash. As you can see I ended it on a Las Vegas-style high note by observing that "Writing is draining."

Dating Amy: The Adventures of Amy DeZellar

March 25, 2006
When you're unemployed, your days stretch out before you like a sleeping cat draped over a bookcase. A square of sunlight moving from its nose and paws to its tail and finally to the floor as late afternoon arrives. When you work six days a week you take pleasure where you can find it, in my case I find it on the way to and from work.

As many of you know all too well, I used to be a music critic. While I could never give a satisfying answer to questions like "How does emo differ from twee?" I at least knew they were both genres, which I felt was pretty good for someone in her 30s.

Since then my knowledge of music has dropped off. Way off. I am able to recognize the following new artists: Beyonce, Faith Hill, Eminem. I cannot identify any of their songs and they are not new in any sense of the word.

Along those lines, my favorite new band is Old 97's who have incorrect punctuation in their name and who broke up years ago. Their lead singer/songwriter is a Southern gentleman named Rhett Miller. As I steamed past a record store last week I saw that he was doing a free performance there during hours when it was possible I would not be a work. I changed out of my pinstriped wool pants and big crystal earrings I bought when the historic Los Angeles I. Magnin store went out of business and threw on jeans and guitar pick earrings (also from Los Angeles) and stopped in.

Like a true gentleman, Rhett was on time. He had an eager chipmunk-y quality that reminds me of Ashton Kutcher. I mean that as a compliment. He took mostly requests and almost every song was either about getting engaged or getting married or being married, which was somewhat depressing as I broke up with someone a few months ago and... well. He has a great voice and did a song I didn't know about having terrible vision where he went up an octave during the verse, which also depressed me because the person I broke up with had terrible vision, but not the kind where he couldn't see that I was in love with him as Rhett said.

When you're overly employed you take pleasure where you can find it. I picked up a morning glory muffin from my favorite bakery as I walked past it on my way to work on Saturday morning. It was wonderful.

March 21, 2006
So in general my expectations are high. They are a kite. They are the space shuttle and the moons around Jupiter. They are a 23-year-old heroin addict the week his first album goes platinum. They are never met. Not with men, not with salaries, not with this book certainly.

Today met my expectations, though. I got up at 5:30 and had some good, strong coffee with milk. I did an interview about the book for an L.A. magazine where the reviewer not only didn't ask me "What was the weirdest date you went on?" but also told me there was "an underlying sense of decency" to my book.

Later my editor sent me a quote from a huge Emmy-winning writer who writes for a big women's magazine. She raved about my book.

Finally I discovered -- when the coffee shop in my building ran out of almond biscotti -- that in actuality the orange frosted biscotti is not only frosted with a delicious Mandarin glaze, it is also almond, therefore perfect.

Today met my expectations. I am higher than the ratings for Grey's Anatomy

March 12, 2006
The other day I was mining my journal to see if there was anything I could use as material for my next book or any possible extortion plots and I found an entry I wrote right after I had heard or read a story about how dismal dating is for a woman over 40.

Here are some thoughts I had on this issue:

I would work out and get my body so hot it would make a high school girl cry.

I'd force myself to lose the baggage from past relationships or a bad divorce so fast it would make my ex husband cry.

I wouldn't do online dating because age isn't just a number when you're over 40, it's a way to get shut out from people's searches.

I would stop wearing my disappointment about men like the embroidered smock that I surely I wore in Jr. High and would instead embrace the seemingly unrealistic attitude that dating is fun. I'd take time off from bitchfests with similarly bitter women because it reinforces those disappointed feelings.

Instead of resenting men my age for wanting to date younger women, I would adopt their sense of entitlement. A 50-year-old man who's balding and out of shape thinks he deserves a hot 27-year-old grad student. Don't get annoyed, get a clue. Men tend to overvalue themselves in the dating arena and women tend to overvalue men in the dating arena. I would start by overvaluing myself in the dating arena if only just to piss everyone off.

I would stop reading depressing articles like the one that inspired this journal entry, that referred to me as a "cougar," that told me how dim my prospects are.

And finally, I would of course date Ashton Kutcher or similar.

March 7, 2006
Just breezing in to say hello to my legions.

My evil, yet very handsome, boss has put me on a mandatory six-day work week for the month of March. What do you make of that? I make time and a half of it. I'm celebrating the fact that I actually have an income now by moving into a room with a view. The other morning as I was heading off to work at the ridiculously early hour at which they have me starting, I ran into a pretty brunette couple who lives in my neighborhood. They're one of those pairs who just sort of go together. They apparently own a bird.

"I have my eye on your place if you ever move out," I said.
"We gave notice this morning," they answered.

So that's that. In less than a month's time I will have a view of the water and the ferries and the city lights at night for approximately the same rent as I'm paying to listen to my extraordinarily loud next door neighbor and her huge awkward boyfriend singing "Jungle Love" while they shower together.

I will not be sharing walls or intimacies with anyone at my new place... unless I want to, of course.

February 24, 2006
A reader writes:

I really enjoyed your website it seems very interesting and stimulating. [Not too much, I hope.]

Look I'll be very frank and honest with you. I live in the Midwest (I know it's very traumatizing) I haven't dated a female in 5 years and my luck is very bad. I do get this sensation that other guys have some type of advantage over me but I don't know what it exactly is.

I'm a little shy but not very bad. Every women I ask out either wants to be "just friends," doesn't want to date me at all or plays the biggest game ever conceived. [They have jumbo twister now? Does it include a cabana boy to play it with?] I'm told I'm not bad looking and I'd like to think that my personality isn't bad.

I don't try for just the "supermodels", in fact, I think that average looking women are most attractive to me. I have read a lot of dating books but I swear that there is something fundamental that I am missing. I am at wits end, I am literally willing to pay for help (not escort services if that's what you're thinking), if such a thing exists. [I think those services do exist, they may be more prevalent on the coasts where people are really screwed up and have money to burn for this sort of thing, though.] I would like to know what it is that I'm doing so wrong.

I am not a rich man, I am still in grad school but this is very frustrating. I would very much appreciate it. It depresses me to see a friend pick up a girl that I could never dream about getting and I get rejected by women a lot of men wouldn't date.

You know, I feel ya, but without meeting you I can't really tell what's going wrong. I'm guessing that since you're a grad student you won't be putting me up at the Four Seasons where I could swill wine from the mini bar and assess everything that's wrong with you like I would on a real date, so email will have to do. I'm assuming hygiene is not an issue and your spelling and punctuation pass most of my standards of excellence. What do your friends think, or are they mostly yoo-hoos and dorks (that could create a favorable comparison, actually). You seem sincere and certainly in the upper one percent of respectability as far as strangers writing to ask me for favors go.

One thing that occurred to me is that maybe since it's been so long since you've dated, you feel undateable and it's become a self-fulfilling prophesy, that your dry spell is now the Sahara and the Gobi combined? I know I certainly went through that with looking for a job -- I was unemployed almost as long as you've been unfu... lfilled. Other than that, I'm stumped. Anyone?

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February 23, 2006
Do I love my new job?

It takes me fifteen minutes to get there, and that's by bus.

The Starbucks I stop at before I go into my building files through people like it's a military exercise, but the middle-aged blonde woman on the left line always calls me honey.

The lobby of my building is deserted in the morning, but during lunch it is packed with people in suits who work in finance yet hair metal instead of Musak plays.

Our office is so high up that I can't check the weather by looking out the window because it will surely be different down there.

My male boss watches "What Not to Wear" in the lounge when he's in town. He dresses impeccably.

I'm pounding out five pages a day on my next book during working hours and they don't care.

Do I love my new job? I think I do.

February 19, 2006
That silly I Will Ask Someone on a Date for You auction (the first one) got 10,000 visitors in the few days after it closed. And not one bid. The one I have up now got a query from someone who wants me to ask someone out and tell them that the person is HIV positive. I would do that, at no charge even. I have a cousin who is HIV positive and has been for years. It is not a death sentence.

February 14, 2006
I'm popping in because as the proprietor of a dating Web site, I should. Don't laugh, but having a job really cuts into one's free time; it's nine extra hours I don't have to myself anymore. I have at least one very funny, very relevant interview for my Profiles in Dating Courage to put up. I just wanted to wish you all a happy Valentine's. If you're in a relationship, have fun and lots of sugar and sex. If you're not, remember it's a completely cynical, fabricated holiday and know that chocolates are half price tomorrow.

P.S. 3267 views of my I Will Ask Someone on a Date for You auction and not one bid? Cheapskates.

February 10, 2006
I've got a couple new Profiles in Dating Courage that I'll have up as soon as I can type them out, so stay tuned...

February 9, 2006
There are sure signs of spring in Seattle, as predictable as rain in January, as unsurprising as, er, rain in February. They include but are not limited to: kiosks outside of grocery stores overflowing with bunches of tulips, sunshine, sunshine, sunshine, the price of fresh asparagus dropping and, apparently, hell freezing over.


Don't faint or cry or rewrite your will, but I, Amy, the woman who has built an empire from whining about my chronic unemployment, have gotten a job. It's just for a few months and it's not for a lot of money, but I will be paid to be somewhere at a designated time to do a designated service (Editorial. Please.) for the first time since I moved to Seattle over four years ago.

This does not mean that you should stop sending me the very interesting writing offers that you occasionally send, it just means that for awhile I will be distracted by one of the most sexually exciting things I've ever experienced: direct deposit.

February 6, 2006
Too bad about those Seahawks. Interesting calls during the game; even ESPN is saying they were robbed. Rest assured that the people of Seattle will handle the loss with their usual combination of dignity and resignation. On to the Super Bowl for women: My sporadically annual eBay auction I Will Ask Someone on a Date for You is up.

February 5, 2006
Super Bowl halftime.

I'm trying to think what makes the Stones so great live after all these years in a way that the Beatles thankfully never were and it's that the Stones are a really highly glorified bar band. How come Mick Jagger looks better than I do? It can't just be drugs and thinness.

Lackluster game so far. I was out this morning and people were very somber. Everyone was dressed in blue and green but with wildly varying interpretations encompassing lime green and navy.

January 31, 2006
Last week people were talking about my site on craigslist in the rants and raves section, so I started reading it. This guy made me laugh today:

I always laugh and sigh and cringe a bit when I read both sexes saying "I'm overweight but working on it". As if they deserve extra credit for "working on it", or something. Nope, sorry, you are what you are and if you want to be seen as a thinner, healthy person, you need to BE a thinner, healthy person- not someone who really *means* to be a thinner, healthy person.

I mean, I'm working on being better looking. My goal is to be as hunky as Brad Pitt. Yet for some reason, in my personal ad, chicks don't treat me as though I look like Brad Pitt; they treat me as though I look like the dipstick I am.

The Oscar nominees were announced. Neither Walk the Line nor King Kong were nominated for Best Picture. That's kind of surprising. Will definitely have to make a date with Mr. Allen and Mr. Clooney (two with George, actually) whose films were nominated for Best Screenplay writing, as category near to my heart.

January 29, 2006
Happy Chinese New Year. It's the Year of the Dog, the hot dog, the hydrant-red dog I'm told. It's supposed to be an especially good year to get married.

So Seahawks next weekend. Pretty unbelievable. There are handmade logos and signs everywhere, even in stores. There is a flag with the number 12 on it at the top of the Space Needle. It stands for "12th Man" aka the fans, which took me so long to figure out, by the way. I have a feeling they'll win.

January 26, 2006
Man, I feel really bad because I'm not sure I can get my next PDC up as promised. My girl friend couldn't do the interview yesterday like we planned so I'm stuck with no interviewee. I even thought of putting up a fake ad on the internet as if I were a Pamela Anderson lookalike so we could deconstruct the fact that men like fictitious blondes who want to have dinner with historical figures like Britney Spears "because what she must have learned from being married to Kevin Federline is really inspirational" but duh, idiots on the Internet like giggly bimbos, film at 11.

January 24, 2006
Next up in my Profiles in Dating Courage: One of my girl friends has basically found a way to eliminate rejection in dating. That is all.

January 23, 2006
People are already asking where they can buy my book. You will be able to buy it on Amazon, at Barnes and Noble, at Borders, at Target, at, at Wal-Mart, at the airport. It is not a limited release. It is not an independent release. It is not only for cool people or people in the know or people who frequent hookah bars.

The book is destined to be a bestseller and is currently a pile of papers on my coffeetable.

I'm looking at it right now.

January 20, 2006
As you know if you've read even a fraction of this site, I've been unemployed for approximately four years. My job search has reached a level of dedication that I can only describe as "ferocious."

Here is a typical interview day:

I put on my only pair of dry-clean-only pants (black and from the Gap, actually) and a conservative cashmere sweater my mother gave me one Christmas. I do not dry clean it, but rather fold it up after each job interview and put it on my closet shelf until the inevitable next one. I don't have any sort of a briefcase, so I shove everything including a Discman (not an iPod as those are for employed people) into my laptop carrying case. Today I listened to Little Creatures by Talking Heads. I haven't been able to afford to purchase music for years, so sue me.

I enter the usually non-descript building and proceed to the usually non-descript office of whichever non-descript staffing firm has granted me an interview. Everything seems normal until...

Person I Don't Know: Are you Amy?!
Me: Yes, hi. I'm here for an interview with [whomever].
PIDK: Would you like a tall drip?
Me: Uh, that'd be great, sure. That's my favorite drink actually. (At this point I'm looking at their sad Mr. Coffee and wondering how it makes specialized drinks.)
PIDK: I'll run to Starbucks for you. I have to confess I told them they had to bring you in. I just can't wait to read your book. That's how I knew about the tall drip. I just love your Web site.
Me: Wow, thanks so much. Yeah the book is coming out in June. I'm so excited. Um, is there a job, though?
PIDK: Yes, of course there is!
Me: Am I qualified for it?
PIDK: Well... no.

January 19, 2006

Profiles in Dating Courage

Named after the watershed book by John F. Kennedy, this poignant and ultimately inspiring series will examine Seattle daters who, like President Kennedy, don't let things like being married, running the country or the thought of meeting yet another person from the Internet who has clearly lied about their weight stand in the way of their quest for love.


Some people have the ability to read a potential lover's body language in an instant. They are dangerous. They are satisfied. They are not you or me.

A few weeks ago my friend Chad decided to eliminate a few of the steps from online dating by writing a short, pithy personals ad... and placing it on the table next to him at a busy coffee shop.

I had to admit I thought it was inspired. This could open up a whole new world of clear communication in dating that would eliminate the need to read vague social signals or body language cues. Who wants to count whether someone is holding your gaze for three seconds ("I am being polite") or five ("I am wondering how your thigh would taste") when we could all be walking around with signs saying No ("no") or Yes ("yes").

Chad is 37 and an editor at a local television station. He loves films and wrote and directed an independent spy thriller last fall. He has a condo, a degree in broadcasting and every season of Taxi on DVD. What he doesn't have is a woman to settle down with.

I stopped by the Starbucks at the top of Queen Anne Hill to check out the second day of his experiment. The first day had been the week before at a coffee house in Greenlake. I asked how things had gone there.

"Women walked by and commented 'That guy's got guts,' but no one approached," he said. He did not sound discouraged.

After I got a vanilla latte, I sat down with him and immediately looked for ways to improve upon his schtick:

Didn't he think his scrawled acronym for Single White Male In Search Of Single Female -- "SWM ISO SF" -- was a bit cryptic for someone just breezing out the door with a double shot mocha latte?
(No, people our age would get it.)

Wouldn't it be better to do it in the evening rather than at 10 a.m. on a weekday when the double-stroller brigade descends?
(No, there were lots of single women around this time when I did it at Zoka)

Why weren't those women at work?
(Why aren't you at work?)

I had to admit another obstacle was probably the fact that I was sitting there.

And also that it's usually men and not women who tend to approach strangers. "Do you think this would work better if the roles were reversed and it was a woman with a sign?" I asked. "Would you approach a woman who was doing what you're doing?"

"I would, but most wouldn't. People are too afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone." he said. "But I've tried everything else, so why not?"

"Everything else" did seem to pretty much run the singles social gamut: Seattle Weekly personals,, Space City Mixer.

Like many men, especially in techy Seattle, Chad has some interests that offer unsurprisingly bad odds for meeting women. Interests like Star Wars. Still, I've always been told that if you do what you love, you'll naturally meet someone.

"Why not do Star Wars types of things," I said. "Like conventions or something."

"Women are afraid of being thought of as sci-fi geeks. A lot of them like it but are afraid of being typecast. I love Star Wars -- the movies, not dressing up as the characters."

"Didn't you sleep outside the Cinerama on Attack of the Clones Eve?" I asked.

"Well, yeah."

Chad addressed the other, opposite cliche that if you want to meet someone you should do things that you may not be interested in just because they will have a good ratio. Like cooking classes or dance lessons.

"People always say that to meet women you should do things like this or that dance group. I took a salsa dance class and it was seven men and five women. You always hear women say I wish men would do more of this or that but when you get there it is more men."

I was surprised to hear that most of the methods Chad's tried have attracted a crowd in their 40s, 50s and beyond.

"I rarely see a woman my age out by herself at Starbucks or grocery shopping," he said.

"Does a woman have to be by herself?"

"I'd be more comfortable not approaching a circle of women. Like at a [singles] pub mixer four or five women will be sitting together. Five pair of eyes looking at you... you freeze."

"But at a pub mixer women should expect men to approach."

"You'd think so, but it doesn't always work that way," he said. "That's why a guy like me needs a sign."

What do you think of Chad's idea?
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Quick Facts about Chad:
I did not say that his condo is on the top of Queen Anne Hill, just that he owns one. (Although I did date a guy who owned a condo there. Should I have hung onto him? This isn't about me. Never mind.)

He doesn't look older than 37 in person. I was going to say he has an "impish" quality about him in the article, but thought it sounded too gay -- in the nine-year-old sense of gay.

You can contact him through me if you want, but I will read and discuss your email with my friends, I don't want to give the illusion of confidentiality. I'll see if I can get Chad to let me post his email here.

Chad is not one of those George Costanzas who lives at home with his parents yet thinks he can get a Claudia Schiffer clone with a PhD in Microbiology and even then feels the need to keep his options open because someone better might come along. He told me that when he has dated through craigslist he cared about spelling first, then whether the woman had anything interesting to say (which he felt the bad spellers didn't, actually) then exchanging pictures was fine but I did not get that it was even mandatory.

I think he is going to continue doing his sign experiment, I don't know where next, though.

January 15, 2006
So, Seahawks! How about that? If they play their cards right they may get to be in my Guy I'd Date in a Minute if I Could section.

I'm going to be doing a great new feature starting this week and running until Valentine's Day. It's going to be a multimedia extravaganza and you all have to participate, so stay tuned.

January 12, 2006
God, the scandal surrounding James Frey and his book A Million Little Pieces is bizarre. So many discrepancies. Between the book and reality, obviously, but also between how he says his publisher dealt with him versus how mine dealt with me. For instance he said they didn't mention having a disclaimer to him. Warner made me do one, I thought it was standard. And not fact-checking a prison record? As I mentioned, a copy editor fact-checked the color of my hair rinse. According to The Smoking Gun, he pitched the book as fiction, got rejected and turned around and sold it as non-fiction. I guess it would seem less derivative to write a book about, for instance, a school of sorcery if you said you actually attended one.

January 11, 2006
I was thinking about Valentine's Day approaching (and how could I not? I was accosted by pink and red when I entered the drugstore) and it seemed to symbolize how really off-base we women are when it comes to the truth about relationships.

For instance, I'm convinced that the reasons men choose to marry are not at all romantic, but are rather pragmatic and earthbound. Some reasons are:

1. It's just the right time and their friends are all getting married.

2. They are in the right place in their careers.

3. You look like their mom/the first woman they had sex with/some other weird Freudian thing.

4. You both have screwed up childhood crap that fits together.

5. They are afraid of dying alone.

Pragmatic creatures, men, bless their little paper hearts.

January 7, 2006
Has anyone seen the Tarantino-"presented" gorefest Hostel yet? I really want to see it -- I loved writer/director Eli Roth's Cabin Fever -- but I can't stand to see acts of cruelty so I guess it's out of the question. Jan Stuart from Newsday probably sums it up: "Although I spent much of the second half staring into my lap while listening to a cacophony of screams and shop tools..."

January 5, 2006
Happy New Year. One of my resolutions, well, not so much a resolution as a landlord-inspired necessity, is to get a job. I started an eBay "store" for my writing last week and it went quite well. It is searchable on the Bay of E under "Writer Unfortunately Still Available for Work."

December 28, 2005
I wanted to post some random thoughts about the holidays and the past year:

I thought the Central Park ice scene in King Kong was worth the price of admission even though it was a full-price admission and I paid my own way, which I never do. On principle.

I'm having this weird, yet common, phenomenon happen lately where I haven't seen someone for ages and I run into them, catch up and then I see them again a few days later and it's like they've been in my daily life all along.

I still find new stuff to love about Seinfeld. I've probably seen each episode five times, yet just last week I first heard Jerry say, "Why don't they name the parking garage levels something like 'Your mother's a whore' so you could remember them?"

December 22, 2005
So anyway, yada yada totally uninspired lately. Then I came across this: He's creepy, he's perfect and he'll always get you a paper towel. Join him on an innocent escape.

December 19, 2005
I'm going to finish my thoughts from yesterday, but here's my Amazon listing.

December 18, 2005
Part of the reason I'm not writing here lately is that I'm not writing here lately. When you just throw out any ol' thing on the Internet on a daily basis no one expects anything. When you only update every time Venus squares Pluto (like clockwork!), the expectations of wisdom and hilarity are placed on top of the other like walnuts and phyllo on a honey-drenched slice of baklava.

Reason #2 for why I'm not writing lately is that I'm very busy with my social life, something longtime readers know I didn't used to have. My life is now filled with invitations to dinner at peoples' homes, barbeques (even in the frigid 30-something-degrees Seattle evenings) and movies, plus one professional sporting event that I'll get to in a minute. It did occur to me that being very social and being a writer not only don't go together but are in fact at cross purposes to each another. So I guess some of the literary greats were quite likely friendless nerds.

And C., I'm just so damn uninspired that it's taking on the proportions of a full-blown existential crisis. Ever the seeker, I probed for some inspiration like a tongue seeks out a cancre sore on a gum. For some reason I first turned to professional sports...

December 6, 2005
My Amazon listing is up. This is so weird, it's almost like the book is real or something. They have my publication date listed as June 14. The publisher hasn't given me a date yet, but Amazon must know, right?

November 30, 2005
I'm having an existential crisis with AOL. I realized that I don't know most of the people on my Buddy List and that most of my Favorites aren't.

November 29, 2005
A few weeks ago I did the final edits to my book. The publisher sent me a hard copy with the notes of about three people on it -- the editor's, the copy editor's. Mostly their questions involved things like whether or not it's correct to call Pike Place Market "Pike Market" (I do) or if we've received permission to quote "I'm Happy Just to Dance with You" by the Beatles (we hadn't), but in the margin of a date where I wrote that I sometimes put a color called Rio Red Ginger in my hair the fact checker scrawled: with her coloring?

November 28, 2005
This past weekend I cooked turkey with all the trimmings just for myself so I could have leftovers. I had already done Thanksgiving with friends on Thursday. I'm already down to my last piece of homemade pumpkin pie.

Would it be really bad to just sort of like keep pumpkin pie around the house all the time? For snacks and stuff?

November 27, 2005
I haven't updated in a month? That's pretty bad. Traffic remains up, but I think that's mostly due to the picture I have of Marcia Cross in lingerie. I think I'm going to start blogging instead of waiting until I have something interesting to say. After all, the Internet is based on wasting your employer's time by reading the minutia of the lives of strangers, is it not?

So how 'bout those Seahawks? Actually the game's not over yet. See, isn't this exciting? It's the immediacy you can only get on the WWW.

Later... Yes, yes, yes. The Hawks are looking friggin' awesome. 24-21. Yes.

Here are some topics I may or may not address this week: Gary Glitter's problems (could result in firing squad), holiday dinners with family (wish for firing squad), the four-year anniversary of my employment search (due to firings not squads).

October 28, 2005
The charity that my auction winners chose is Seattle Humane Society, I guess in honor of Halloween. These terrifying animals will tear you limb from limb with their scary fangs and claws! Just kidding. You can totally adopt a sweet little puppy here who will love you unconditionally, unlike that asshole who dumped you right before the holidays last year.

Her name is Little Guy

October 16, 2005
I ran a silly auction in conjunction with the Get Your Name in My Book. The description said in part that "I neglected to put the actual name of the book in the auction title and now people can't find it and I feel embarrassed in front of my publisher, which brings us up to the present moment where I'm finishing my lunch (Yaki Soba noodles with red peppers and zuccini and tuna -- it was just okay).

I guess I should sell something here, so if you bid on this auction, which I know people will as they are not supposed to, I'll write a haiku about you and put it on my Web site"

To make an ugly, long story short, the winner, judging from their other auction wins, likes some sort of game about things that are out of their proper or chronological order. So mib668, here's all the sensitive poetry $1.25 will get you:

Oh, mib668
I said no bidding, rebel!

October 14, 2005
6:09 p.m. Curt and Corine won my auction! They won! It was their first time on eBay and I didn't think they'd even be able to figure it out, but they won! I'm more excited than I was to get the book deal in the first place! Now I can write whatever I want about them and they're going to pay for it! Yay!

My big auction ends today at 6 p.m. PST. The winner almost all week has been the little newbies CurtandCorine who sound like one of those attached-at-the-hip couples, but in reality are clever drive-time DJs at STAR 101.5 right here in Seattle. I was pulling for them even though they have zero feedback because I would at least know where to find them if they defaulted on payment, which happens to me approximately always with brand new eBayers: "I didn't know I was actually supposed to pay for this, I thought it was an interactive game."

October 13, 2005
If you're in the Seattle area and are an employer or know an employer, I'm available for work. I have experience with/think I would be good at the following: writing (obviously), having my own column, editing, copywriting, ad writing, copyediting (please ignore the multitude of typos and grammatical errors on this site), writing for radio, ruling a medium-sized country but not one that's in the news for bad things more than let's say twice a week, entertainment journalism.

Despite how I act here, I am not difficult and weird at work (unless that is your corporation's culture, in which case I will be, but only in the spirit of being a team player.)

If you're not in the Seattle area, here is a nice article the P-I did on me.

October 12, 2005

Places To Get Dates Review #2

Place: Online dating services

Oh sure, someone always knows someone who knows someone who is blissfully engaged to someone they met through an Internet matchmaking service. But do any of us personally know a couple who got together this way? I suspect it is propaganda created by the marketing team that views this as a plus: offers millions of profiles for millions of possibilities to meet your match. The company's online dating sites and affiliated businesses span six continents, operating more than 30 dating sites in 18 local languages and supporting local currencies. is an operating business of IAC/InterActiveCorp (Nasdaq: IACI).

Ooooh, say that thing about Nasdaq again, baby. Really, I just have visions of sorting through millions of men, finally finding one I like and then having him think there are a million other women out there that he needs to check out first.

I have tried online dating and I've met really nice people, I'm just more from the eyes-locking-across-a-crowded-room school of thought. Ironically an argument I've heard in favor of and the like is that they're good for people who are shy or feel awkward in social situations. Are these people not actually meeting in person then? Because I think it takes nerves of steel to meet someone from the Internet, especially if your expectations are already built up from flowery emails and 10-year-old pictures.

What's to love: You meet people you wouldn't normally meet in your daily life. You can do it from home in your jammies. Sooner or later everyone tries online dating. You can search for someone who's statistically compatible with you on paper.

What's not to love: There may be zero chemistry. There's lots of abrupt rejection since most people aren't invested in being polite to total strangers by email. People rarely end up with those who are statistically compatible with them on paper.

Staff says: Be sure to contact us with your questions, or to arrange an interview with a spokesperson, singles currently using the site or a happily married success couple in your area.

So they're saying you can actually interview a couple who met on their site before you decide to cough up your $29.99 per month? That's so Brazil -- not the warm, sexy country where everyone's running around in G-strings, but the cold, futuristic movie by Terry Gilliam. I mean it's one of my favorite films but I don't want my romantic life to resemble it.

(out of 5)

October 10, 2005

Places To Get Dates Review #1

Place: Coffee houses, independent

You would think that with the sheer volume of people cruising through for java, the long waits in line and the fireplace with its carefully placed conversation area that Starbucks would be a Mecca of mochaccino-fueled mingling. You would be wrong, though. Not only have I never met anyone at a big corporate coffee chain -- including Tully's, Seattle's Best Coffee and the like -- but I've never seen anyone meet anyone there.

Small chains and independents tell a different story, a cozy, intimate story that is to their big brethren what meeting someone at a friend's cocktail party is to meeting someone through the Internet.

What's to love: If you get to know the staff (which you will) you can kind of ask around about people. These places tend to attract about 90 percent men, which is great if you're a woman. People in artistic fields, small-business owners and people from your own neighborhood gravitate here.

What's not to love: Tend to attract a lot of regulars which is not so great if you don't like seeing the same people over and over. These places tend to attract about 90 percent men, which sucks if you are one and you're hetero. Stay away from the guys who are here all afternoon every day if you're a golddigger. Might have to fight for custody of the place if you have a bad breakup with a regular.

Staff says:
Female counterperson #1: I don't see a lot of people get dates here, but I'm engaged so maybe I just don't notice. I also work mornings and afternoons and I would think that that would go on mostly at night.
Female counterperson #2: I use it as my own personal dating service since I meet so many men here.

I think this is one of the nicest ways to meet someone. I don't personally feel that Seattle people are terribly shy or cold, but this is the perfect antidote if that's one of your complaints -- faces become familiar after a week or two and it's not so threatening to say hello. Sit in a communal area, not off in a corner. Go at the same time every day and someone who has their eye on you will know where to find you.

(out of 5)

October 7, 2005
As you may or may not know, I got my first break as a writer when I was hired to write reviews of bands for a local music magazine in Los Angeles. I was paid three cents a word, which I found a bit insulting at the time, little knowing that years later I would be writing here for free. Seattle has an (I think) ill-deserved reputation as a terrible place to date, so I thought it would be fun to turn my crack investigative skills over to the dating arena to see if this is so. For the next week I will be reviewing places around town based on apparent number of single people, relative ease of hooking up and attractiveness level of clientele. I'll try to do one a day and limit my reviews to places that anyone could go. I'm off to an event in just a few hours, so you'll be able to raptly drink in my amazing wisdom really soon.

October 4, 2005
Coming tonight at 6:00 PST, your chance to get your name in my book.


Read more of my journal...

March 2005-September 2005

August 2004-February 2005
(Includes: I Get an Agent and a Book Deal and a DVD Player)

July 2004
(Includes: Awkward Positions, Sexual and Otherwise)

June 2004
(Includes: Your Girlfriend Looks Like Tom Petty, My Continuing Battle with the Seattle Times, My Rejection from a Huge Literary Agent)

May 2004
(Includes: Vogue-reading Straight Men, Baby's First Porn and Six Lashes Feel So Good)

April 2004
(Includes: The Drooling Cat, Kurt Cobain 10-Year Tribute, Yoda on Dating)

March 2004
(Includes: I Need an Immaturity Beard, eBay Feedback Applied to Dating, Academy Awards)

February 2004
(Includes: Looking for Elvis, eBayers Without Identities, Valentine's Street Buzz and Why I Don't Call Men)

January 2004
(Includes: I Become an Imaginary Hooters Ex-Girlfriend on eBay, I Get Paid to Ask a Girl Out, The Apprentice-ship is Calling Me Home)

December 2003
(Includes: I Sold My Career On eBay, My Life As An Internet Celebrity, How Macy's Creates Outsiders and My Job Interview at the Grocery Store)

November 2003
(Includes: Starbucks' No-Ogling Policy, In Praise of Nerds, Ostrich-Feather Boa Quest and Halloween: A Generation Refuses to Grow Up)

October 2003
(Includes: Am I a Dominatrix?, Googling Exes, MENSA Test and Some Things You Should Know About This Site)

September 2003
(Includes: Am I Wrong for Not Talking at the Movies?, 10 Reasons I Don't Like Online Dating and My National Job-Sharing Plan)

August 2003
(Includes: Watching Elimidate, My First-Ever Party Plan and Seattle Hempfest)

July 2003
(Includes: Men Stick Their Keys in My Lock, Finding Nemo review, Visit to the Land of Kirk and L.A. or Seattle: The Roulette Wheel)

June 2003
(Includes: My Boobs Story)

May 2003
(Includes: Frankenbarbie, Why Can't Women Date Like Mick Jagger?, Market Value in Dating)

April 2003
(Includes Christmas Tree Fallout, The Hot Coffeeshop Girl and "Dating Amish")

March 2003
(Includes: Liberty Korn, Cobain Photo Exhibit)

February 2003
(Includes: Top 10 Moneymaking Suggestions from Detroit Radio, A Peace Demonstration and A Couple of Television Appearances)

January 2003
(Includes: Dating Tips for Men, Going to Kurt Cobain's House, Tale of Two Cities, Capt. Kirk Pants and Johnny at the Bar)

December 2002
(Includes: About Schmidt review, My First Talk Show, Beatles' Hotel)

November 2002
(Includes: The Ring review, I'm Realize I'm Unavailable)

September/October 2002
(Includes: Meeting Men at Bars, Twin Peaks)

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